Sunday, 23 February 2014

Initial Food ideas for the John Muir Trail

Food on the trail can be an issue on any long distance hike, you need a certain amount of calories at the lightest weight you can.  On the John Muir Trail (JMT) there is an added issue of the lack of resupply in the second half of the trail, meaning I will have to carry all the food I need for around 8-9 days.  

On most English trails I doubt you would go for more than a couple of days without finding a pub or shop to buy food from.  On the JMT there will be nothing for 110 miles between the Muir Trail Ranch and Mount Whitney.

This means I have to actually think about the food in detail.  It needs to have enough calories to keep me going and be light enough to actually carry.  There are different approaches, from carrying numerous energy and chocolate bars (and that’s it) to carrying the kitchen sink.  Neither of those ideas appeals to me.

Friday, 21 February 2014

John Muir Trail – Outline Plan

The John Muir Trail (JMT) requires a certain amount of planning due to its location and the logistics involved.   For an overseas visitor you have extra issues to deal with, such as where to fly to, buying food in country, transport and accommodation before and after the trek.  On top of that there is the usual issues and saving enough money and booking time off work. 

My current plan involves me being in the USA from the 31st Aug to the 2nd Oct with 21 days on the trail, including any rest days.  My plan is to have at least 1 rest day at either the Muir Trail Ranch (MTR) or the Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR).  My preferred starting point is from Glacier Point, but the permit system restricts trailheads so I might have to go with whatever I get.

The Glacier point trailhead means I will likely spend the first night off the JMT.  I have walked this section (Panorama trail -from Glacier Point to Nevada Falls) and the ‘normal’ JMT route via Happy Valley to Nevada falls (Mist Trail and JMT) before.  The Mist trail is steeper, more steps and a lot busier with day hikers, in some sections there can be queues depending on the time of day.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The John Muir Trail 2014

I suppose it’s time to announce the big trip for 2014.  Whilst it’s hardly been a secret, I had nothing ‘official’ in place.  In September 2014 I will hopefully be walking (and completing) the John Muir Trail (JMT) in California, USA.

The start of the John Muir Trail.
The JMT is a 211 mile long trail through the wilderness with a total elevation gain of approximately 14,000m.  The trail starts in Yosemite Valley and ends on top of the highest point in the contiguous USA, Mount Whitney (4,421 m).  However, from the end of the trail it’s another 11 miles to Whitney Portal, where a café and burger awaits!

Friday, 7 February 2014

#49 Whitworth to Todmorden

14.04 Miles
744 Metres Ascent


For once I had time on my side and had no real deadline.  I had this route in mind for a while but due to one thing and another I hadn’t got round to it.  The weather was OK, overcast and windy but it wasn’t raining!

The first part of the route was very familiar, up the rake and around the top of Watergrove.   Things are still very wet but the Pennine bridleway is probably the best track in the region.  I decided to climb Clay Pots hill as an added extra.  It seemed a good idea at the time, adding about 2 miles and 200 metres to the day.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Rooley Moor

12.3 Miles
447 Metres Ascent


Another day and another tight deadline.  I had pretty much 4hrs to do something with.  So a ‘dash’ up Rooley Moor was in order.  As I’ve said in the past, this is a good hard track that takes you up and over the moors.
It was windy again but dry.  The sun even came out at a few points!  There were a few points I could have done with sunglasses, which after yesterday was a shock to the system. 

Why am I enjoying this?

10.87 Miles
363 Metres Ascent


It’s past 6pm.   Sunset was over an hour ago.   The wind is gusting to 40mph.  It is 4°C without adding the wind-chill and it’s raining.  Why am I walking across the moors above Whitworth?  And why am I enjoying this?
I was back on familiar turf above Whitworth and Watergrove, after spending a good part of the day driving.  I had planned something longer, but my usual lateness was compounded by a strict home by 7pm deadline (When your mum tells you your tea will be on the table at 7, it’s the sort of deadline you can’t afford to miss!).